grande dame

\ ˈgrän-ˈdäm How to pronounce grande dame (audio) \
plural grandes dames\ ˈgrän-​ˈdäm(z) How to pronounce grandes dames (audio) \ also grande dames\ ˈgrän-​ˈdäm(z) How to pronounce grande dames (audio) \

Definition of grande dame

1 : a usually elderly woman of great prestige or ability

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Synonyms for grande dame


dame, dowager, matriarch, matron

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Examples of grande dame in a Sentence

the city's grandes dames still hold considerable sway in its cultural life

Recent Examples on the Web

The Village Voice, the grande dame of alt-weeklies. Christine Biederman, WIRED, "Inside’s Vicious Battle With the Feds," 18 June 2019 For over thirty years, this Back Bay grande dame has been Boston's go-to place for an old-school steakhouse dinner. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Best Restaurants in Boston," 16 July 2018 There, deep in the recesses of a priceless landmark, a designer—or a grande dame—can work in peace and summon the forces of the past. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Exclusive: Tour Florence's Rarely Seen Palazzo Spini Feroni," 27 Feb. 2019 Photo: Knut Egil Wang for The Wall Street Jounal In April 1986, Norwegian actress Rut Tellefsen, a grande dame of the Oslo stage, bought the same apartment, which came with a basement studio. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Inside an Oslo Home Immortalized by Edvard Munch," 8 Aug. 2018 Château d’Adrien: The old-school, grande dame of Verbier’s hotels, any skier worth her salt has stayed—or dined—here at one point or another. Todd Plummer, Harper's BAZAAR, "6 Envy-Inducing Ways to Experience the Best of Verbier," 1 Nov. 2018 Aspen’s grande dame hotel, The Little Nell, recently renovated its 86 guest rooms. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "The Millionaires Living in the Mining Cabins," 1 Nov. 2018 In the realm of memorable evenings, one of my standouts was a dinner around 1998 at grande dame Casey Ribicoff's Sutton Place apartment. Alex Hitz, House Beautiful, "Billionaire's Meatloaf from Alex Hitz," 8 Oct. 2014 The Breakers, 1 S. County Rd., 655-6611; The island's grande dame oceanfront resort, located on 140 acres in the center of town, with golf, tennis, beach club, shopping arcade, and full-service spa. Robert Janjigian, ELLE Decor, "ELLE DECOR Goes to Palm Beach," 16 Dec. 2010

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grande dame.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of grande dame

1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grande dame

French, literally, great lady

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Statistics for grande dame

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for grande dame

The first known use of grande dame was in 1775

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More Definitions for grande dame

grande dame


English Language Learners Definition of grande dame

: a usually old woman who is highly admired or respected

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